Disaster PreparednessFather holding daughters hand

Summer is coming to an end and you’re probably gearing up for your child’s school year in the Houston area. As you’re sorting through school supplies and finding the coolest lunch box, don’t forget to make time for back to school disaster preparedness. The best way to avoid damage is to prepare before disaster strikes. Your child’s school should have their own disaster plan. It’s always a good idea to learn their plan and incorporate that into your own. This helps to ensure you and your family have the smoothest possible experience in the case of a disaster. Learn more from the following tips below that we compiled from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Ask for Information

  • You should know the location of any offsite meeting places your child’s school uses during a disaster. You might need to pick them up from a location other than their school.
  • Find out how parents are notified of school closures, evacuations and alarms.
  • Ask your child’s school what emergency supplies they provide and what you are expected to send with your child.

Prepare your Children

1. Emergency kit

Always keep extra snacks and water in your child’s backpack. Your child’s school might even encourage students to have an emergency kit in their classroom. If so, find out what it should contain. Usually, an emergency kit has the following items but don’t forget to coordinate with your child’s school.

  • Food and water
  • Necessary prescriptions
  • Heat reflective blanket
  • Batteries and a small flashlight

2. Contact Information

Teach your child their home address and important phone numbers. Depending on their age, it might also be a good idea to keep that information in their backpack or notebook. In addition, if your family has a designated meeting place, make sure your child knows where that is.

3. Be Familiar with Routes

Make sure that you know your child’s route home. Whether they take the bus, walk or get a ride from a friend, it’s a good idea to know the general area your child can be found on their way home from school.

4. Pickup Authorization

Let your child’s school know who is allowed to pick up your child. Tell your child who they can expect to pick them up on any given day. You can also come up with a code word that your child and anyone who is authorized to pick them up will know.

5. Practice Makes Perfect

Run through an emergency plan with your child including

  • Evacuation routes from home and school
  • Home and school meeting places
  • The location of emergency supplies both at home and school
  • Who is allowed to pick them up in the event of a disaster

ServiceMaster Advantage in Houston, Texas is your local disaster restoration expert. We hope you and your family have a disaster-free school year. Contact us if you experience a fire, smoke or water damage. Homeowners rely on us every day for our full array of services. Our team will repair your property in a timely manner, keep you informed the whole way through and ensure the job is done right.


Photo by: istockphoto.com/Sasiistock